03 Mobile Diagnostic Careers
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Table of Contents
Evolution of Mobile Diagnostics
There was always somebody riding around in a pickup truck or van that provided mobile automotive repair; however, this lesson is about a whole new breed of “high tech” mobile techs. The focus of this lesson is on mobile services that offer advanced diagnostics and reprogramming. Most of these mobile services have features, such as:
- They focus on services such as advanced diagnostics and module reprogramming
- While they are mobile, they do expect to work inside a shop when on the scene
- Their mobile rigs, including equipment, could cost $50,000 – $200,000+
- They tend to charge $150+ per hour
Mobile Services – Types
Many shops tend to call in a mobile diagnostic service when they have a car they do not have the expertise, or equipment, to diagnose. This means those in the mobile diagnostics business are mainly dealing with some of the tougher diagnostics and could be working behind someone else that caused even more problems during the initial diagnostic procedures.
Since the mobile diagnostic services are solving some of the more difficult problems, they will have some of the most advanced diagnostic equipment, such as:
- Multiple sources of service information (including some OEM sources)
- Multiple scan tools (including some OEM platforms)
- Thermal imaging detectors (Flir)
- Digital Storage Oscilloscopes
- Pressure Transducers
- Breakout Boxes
- Smoke Machine
- TPMS Tools
Another service that fits well with the mobile diagnostic business model is reprogramming. With the expansion of controller area networks (CAN) more and more control modules are being used on cars. This growth in module use has driven the need for even more module reprogramming. While most mobile diagnostic services offer module reprogramming, some new mobile diagnostic services are focusing strictly on module reprogramming and security systems.
Mobile Diagnostics (Showcase)
AutoTech on Wheels
John Anello, of Auto Tech on Wheels, was an early adopter of mobile diagnostics and is somewhat legendary in the industry. John has provided diagnostic and reprogramming services for over 1200 repair shops, 400 body shops, and 50 transmission shops in Northern New Jersey since 1991. He is also noted for having some of the best-outfitted trucks in the industry.
John authored the book “Automotive Computer Diagnostics” and he does presentations at many automotive training seminars and conferences.
JarHead Diagnostics – Mobile Diagnostics Van Tour
Mobile Diagnostics “Spin Off” Careers
Mobile Diagnostic Techs as Educators
Since mobile diagnostic techs are diagnosing some of the toughest problems, they tend to develop highly effective diagnostic skills. Some mobile diagnostic techs are starting to document their diagnostic process and packet the information into official training. While a lot of this training is available for free on YouTube, some charge for their more professionally produced training products. Mobile technicians are also frequent speakers at trade shows and training events.
Mobile Diagnostic Careers With OEMs
As diagnostics get more and more complicated will the automotive manufactures adopt a mobile program like the aftermarket where a team of highly skilled mobile techs float between dealerships to diagnose the difficult cases? Many think this is the natural progression as revealed in the YouTube video below.